Fast Facts

  • By age 14, was the Youth Heavyweight Champion of Ireland---a title he held for three consecutive years.
  • Once worked as a fork-lift operator at a Guinness Beer plant.
  • Discovered by director John Boorman while performing with the Belfast Lyric Players' Theater and was subsequently cast in the 1981 film Excalibur.
  • Chosen for the lead role in 1993's Schindler's List after Steven Spielberg saw his Tony-nominated performance in a Broadway production of Anna Christie.
  • In 2000, sustained multiple pelvic injuries after hitting a deer while driving his motorcycle.
  • Co-starred with Laura Linney in the 2002 Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible; the duo later teamed up to play husband-and-wife on the silver screen in 2004’s Kinsey and 2008’s The Other Man.
  • His wife, actress Natasha Richardson, suffered a fatal head injury while skiing in Canada on March 16, 2009; she passed away two days later.
  • Surprised audiences with his atypical action-hero performance in Taken (2008), which led to more action-hero turns in Clash of the Titans (2010) and The A-Team (2010).


  • 1993, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
  • 2002, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
  • 0, — :
  • 1994, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1997, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1993, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1996, Venice Film Festival — Best Actor: Winner
  • 2005, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 2005, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Male Lead: Nominee
  • 1994, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2004, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
  • 2016, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series: Nominee


  • Helen Mirren — Ex-significant Other
  • Barney Neeson — Father
  • Kitty Neeson — Mother
  • Michael Antonio Neeson — Son
  • Elizabeth Neeson — Sister
  • Rosaleen Neeson — Sister
  • Daniel Jack Neeson — Son
  • Bernadette Neeson — Sister
  • Julia Roberts — Ex-significant Other
  • Natasha Richardson — Wife (deceased)


  • Attended Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland; attended St. Mary's Teaching College, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Next On TVSee all »


  • Birth Name: William John Neeson
  • Birth Place: Ballymena, Northern Ireland
  • Profession: Actor

Trending TonightSee all »

Watch This

Dan Stevens and Rachel Keller, <em>Legion</em>
Legion: How the Show Will Be Like the Comics

Stars Dan Stevens and Rachel Keller share what to expect